Hardline preacher-cum-politician Ian Paisley used to picket "evil" metal gigs in Ireland: yesterday his son invited Gene 'The Demon' Simmons to Parliament

Ian Paisley and Gene Simmons
(Image credit: Ian Paisley - John Downing/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images / Gene Simmons - Armando Gallo/Getty Images)

"I heard he once sprinkled blood over the audience, and stated it was the blood of Jesus Christ."

So said Free Presbyterian Church member Wesley Skilling as he stood with 150 fellow church members outside Belfast's Avoniel Leisure Centre on February 6, 1986, picketing a concert by 'Wild Man Of Rock' Ozzy Osbourne

"I've looked into the background of the singer, and his concerts are evil personified," commented the protestors' spokesman, Free Presbyterian minister Rev. David McIlveen, standing with members of his church holding placards saying 'Stop The Sin Tour' and 'Osbourne's Habits Are Sick.'

Free Presbyterian Church co-founder, Rev. Ian Paisley, leader of Northern Ireland's hardline Democratic Unionist Party, and a man who once claimed that seat number 666 in the European Parliament was reserved for the Anti-Christ, also attended the protest.

"This is the desecration of East Belfast" he thundered to TV crews covering the protest.

"This city has enough problems without importing depravity in the form of an outrageous and deviant pop star," DUP MP Peter Robinson, Paisley's right-hand man, told the East Belfast Post. "The youth of this city must be protected from influences such as this."

Ian Paisley went on to become Northern Ireland's First Minister: his son, Ian Jr, a member of his late father's Free Presbyterian Church, and also the DUP, has been the MP for North Antrim since 2010. 

Much has changed in Northern Ireland, for the better, since the dark days of the '70s and '80s, but even the most casual observer of politics in the Six Counties would surely have been taken aback yesterday to discover that Ian Jr, no shrinking violet himself when it comes to condemnation of anything he and his Free P. pals consider sinful - "I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism" being one of his choice contributions to LGBTQ+ discourse - has struck up an unlikely association with Knights In Satan’s Service ... sorry, Kiss bassist/vocalist Gene 'The Demon' Simmons, a man who has made no secret of his appetites for fornication and earthly wealth.

It seems that, somewhat randomly, the North Antrim MP called in a favour to obtain permission for the band to ground their private jet in the UK as they kicked off the latest leg of their End of the Road tour. Paisley then invited his new rock star pal on a tour of the UK Parliament, which Simmons referenced in a Twitter post, calling it "an honor".

"I had known about his father of course, legendary Ian senior and what he did for Ireland," Simmons added.

Ian Paisley Jr described Simmons as "a real knowledgeable guy" about the history of Parliament.

"He's got a genuine interest both in the history and the theology behind all this stuff, and he's had a private tour and he's been able to visit Deputy Prime Minister's question time," the MP told the PA news agency.

In a rare-as-unicorn-shite flash of humour, Paisley also suggested that his new bezzies Kiss had agreed to perform a private gig as a DUP fundraiser, before quickly adding: "That's a lie!"

Ozzy Osbourne's availability for a DUP fundraiser has yet to be discussed.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.